Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Project for the week -Introduction

As funds are short and I cannot always afford to buy what I would like each week (although I don't do  too badly in order to get a variety of things within my pantry I have decided to focus on one item per week (if I get more made it will be a bonus) but if I aim at least for one item I should be able to work my way through the considerable list of items I have decided to try this year.  Some are long standing recipes others are brand new that I have never tried before - but that is the beauty of preparing preserves for your own pantry you vary it according to your own tastes and the bonus being that you come up with something that is not commercially over produced and you know what has gone into it.

My main aim believe it or not is to relax.  I lose myself in my own little world focusing on what I am doing, but its also  a time to dream especially if standing over a pan of bubbling chutney, gently stirring so that the contents do not stick as the liquid gradually reduces and the vinegar cooks into the preserve.  Its also a good way of making sure that you use everything you buy and don't waste anything - there are loads of recipes out there. But its also a way of making sure that you and yours stay fed in the cold winter months; when you haven't got much simple things mean a lot especially in the cold winter months.

Please forgive me if I seem a tad patronising - that is not my intention at all, but I also came to the conclusion that if I was having to think about ways around things then others might be in the same boat and that perhaps it would be good to share  the knowledge I have accumulated and the knowledge that you also have to share.  Everyone has something to bring to the table old timers and newbies alike.

There may perhaps be those of you out there who would also like to make bits and bobs for your "pantry" and that you would like  to have a go at what I am making  - please feel free to join me and put things on your pantry shelf.  Some things you will make and some things you will not make again -everyone's palette is different and the type of food we eat from family to family differs too.  Some of the things you may not think you will use, I was like this to start with but have found ways to use things up quite successfully as I have gone along.  Just remember that rules are meant to be broken and that just because we have always had mint sauce with lamb doesn't mean you can't have it with something else either.  Be brave and experiment.

I intend to start with something simple  vinegar is relatively easy to work with as a started and pickled cucumber (also known as bread and butter pickles) is relatively straightforward.  Homemade pickled cucumber is far superior to that which is bought in the shops and you have the advantage of being able to adjust the spicing, which is often too strong in commercial projects. This preserve can be made throughout the year, not just at a set time as Cucumbers are readily available in this country throughout the year. although they tend to be cheaper in the summer months.  Squirrelling away food like this just. needs a little time and patience.  Why make pickled cucumber- if you have this preserve in your cupboard you can use it to pep up sandwiches, accompany any fish dishes especially salmon, either tinned or fresh; with a winter salad it just helps kick start the mundane.  I use pickled cucumber in this way with the salads and also add pickled red cabbage too.  It brightens things up on the colour front too.

So if you want to have a go at a weekly project please join me and experiment.  [the first project post is to follow shortly]  but more than anything enjoy what you are doing and it will come out in your food.  Equally if you get stuck let me know and I will try and untaffle you.



  1. Trish, Did you get your jam maker sorted out? I have made 2 lots of raspberry jam today. I am so thankful for mine. I have run out of jars, am valiently trtying to get some more. Have put a plea out on freecycle......there will be just as many rasps next week as we picked this week. I think we have picked about 10kgs so far!!

  2. No its cream crackered - Lakeland have offered me a credit note. could really do with it at the moment. What about bottling some raspberries - would free up your freezer space and would give you the option of puddings or pies - just an idea. Have you tried the Jam Jar shop - prices seem to good and they have offers on quite regularly. Here is the link they are based in Oakham.

    Hope you are both okay

    Take care and catch up soon

    Tricia (aka Pattypan)


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Meet the Moggies

  • Merlin (approx 18 months)
  • Squeak (approx 2 years)
  • Poppy (approx 16 years)
  • Tyson (approx 17 years)
  • Tinky (official name Clover approx 18 years)